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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Now Where Can I Hide It? By Ms. V

You know you are losing what few marbles you have when you start hiding quilt supplies from yourself. Oh wait, and loosing scissors when you know you have at least twenty pair. I spent the first ten years of marriage not buying fabric because I believed everyone when they said I had enough and I needed to save and spend on the family.

I spent the second ten years of marriage, having decided 'they' were wrong, hiding fabric in every nook and cranny, in the back of the car, on hangers in my closet, unpacking quickly when the hubby went on an Army Reserve Weekend tour, and even using the basement and the top of the kids closets. Now why do we do that?  Especially as the dining room table was my work space and I had to disassemble it every Sunday for the family dinner and packed everything up in plastic bags, never to be seen again as a new project emerged...with new pins, scissors, fabric, patterns...sound familiar?

I have spent the last ten plus years trying to find all the wonderful fabric, rulers, scissors…
found 22 pair, must have five duplicates of some and have relegated others to the paper cutting bin. I have decided as I am getting close to 36+ years with this dear man, that I have finally grown up enough, or found my right mind, or had an epiphany, enough therapy, or just felt one day, what the heck I work every day, I deserve to do, be, have, or some such nonsense, my art work and supplies without hiding everything worrying about someone else's opinion, his, theirs, mine upsetting my artistic flow.  Especially since everytime I packed up my things and put them away it took a shopping trip to reenergize myself again...am I rambling? ?Well at least I am not shopping. LOLROTF. 

I can remember my grandmother saying things like that, in my right mind, wait I am a grandma, now, is that what it takes??? and I thought she was a bit nuts. Well I have finally arrived and nuts is pretty good, feels pretty good, tastes pretty good, and sits well in my stomach. Not to mention the backbone I finally found, and that feels good too. Why did it take so long?  Maybe it is a sign that I have matured, or finally found myself, or just given myself permission to be me. Or maybe having lived a bit I have finally decided what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I am not going to hide my ‘stuff’ or ‘junk’ or artistic equipment or paraphernalia any more. So don’t be surprised if you stop by and find my living room, dining room, and spare bedrooms converted into a studio. All the kinks have not been worked out but during my short spell of illness a couple years ago I must have grown some…or lost some, let’s call them marbles, I like balls better but my five brothers and DH tell me I don't have any, but I could swear I had some somewhere.  Any who I love my things, the colors, the shapes, the inspiriation I get from them and finally I am surrounded by them and I feel wonderful!

Now I am trying to figure out where to put it all. Wait, right here out in the open...LOL! He, my DH, was peeking over my shoulder when I typed this and I just found out he knew all

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gallery Shots, Postcard, Painting on Fabric, Weaving, Show & Tell

Postcard Swap, Great Grandmother Willie (born before the end of Slavery) & Great Aunt Eunice her daughter walking on Market Street in Philadelphia. This photo was taken before 1945. The building was Tuskegee Institute, now University where three of the youngest, of my great-grandmother's nine children attended school.  Eunice or E. Finch Morris, as she like to be called was one who attended.

This was drawn as one of a series, done immediately following a GYN appointment.

My Dear Professor Haymaker.  He encouraged me to enlarge my work from 8 1/2" x 11" to 8x10 feet.  The weaving behind us is one of three I made during our time together.  I often start small but end up five to ten times larger.


Bad hair day, not anymore.  I created the square behind the face, of paper, thread, crystals, glue and fabric.  Later this mask required a backing and the cream fabric square felt just right.  As I completed the appliquéd of face, hair, then necklace I realized it needed to be larger so I added the boarders.  The quilting is the first overall machine quilting I completed after I got over the fear of machine quilting.  Oh yes, I was nervous about it for years, finally taking the plunge after a session with Juanita Yeager.  So it doesn't matter if you can draw, sew, paint, or fussy cut. There are things that have us stumped...until we gird up our loins and punch through or pop the bubble.

My dear friend and Show & Tell partner.  I use this piece to demonstrate the way some quilters show their work.  After the demonstration we all laugh at ourselves and having gotten the point do a much better job at introducing ourselves and sharing one of our art works with our audiences.

Three Pregnant Ladies a Chair and a Antelope

During the most pressing times of my life I paint, sketch, put colors together in a manner that relieves stress and pressure.  Fabric has always been important in that process.  Quilting has come and gone and come again into my life.  What is special about this piece is it encompasses all of the above.  A time when my daughters were pregnant, my daddy passed on and I was pregnant with that pain, and when I was in physical pain from an injury.  I found my fabric, paints, with years passing before this became a finished piece. What happens for me is a start, pack it away, a finding, work on the parts, a finding of the last piece or technique needed, then a finish.  Just so with this piece.  I also found a way to handle all the emotional turmoil happening at the same time.  

Did I mention I went to live for a period of time with my mother after my father's death?  Well that is a whole nuther quilt...I haven't finished collecting the thoughts, pieces, paints, story on that one yet.  I will post it when it is a bit more along in the process.  The story behind each of these quilts has been written and one day will be published with the quilts.  What a lofty goal. LOL

Lectures & Workshops by Ms. V - Empowerment - Promote Your Work

This Lecture & Workshop series was created to empower artists to manage the expected and unexpected ups and downs of being in business with and for themselves from a position of strength.  Oh yes, we are generally the business manager, along with the artist, the clean up crew, the shopper, no wait, we like that role, LOL, you get the point.  (Fees Listed At Bottom...just in case...LOL

Bless You - detail, 2007

We live, work, and create in two different worlds. We generally create alone. It is an interaction between us, our materials, our tools, and our evolving workspaces. After a period of time say a few weeks or a few years we share our work with the general public.  Well some of us Do share, some of us Think about Sharing, and some of us put our Work carefully away for long periods of time, some even forever.  Why? Often because we can not figure out where to begin.  We sometimes need to learn how to reallocate learned life skills into our art tool contaniers. And other times we need the company of other like minded people to realize our own worth and value as artists.  

Beyond Comfort, detail 2011

As I have grown/sewn in this field I discovered moving from a private life into a public and on-line life was more than a notion.  I realized I could offer a few How To's...for those of us who get stuck, feel intimidated when viewing other 's work, feel lost or just not up to doing the tasks necessary to reach or set our goals.  So I looked back at my diaries and selected some of the roadblocks I have hit and decided to write down how I met the challenge or overcame the situations. Thus two series: Empower Your Creative Self and Promote Your Work, were developed.

Each lecture was designed to appeal to a general audience of both artists and non artists.  Each: 
  • Has a PowerPoint presentation available enhanced by relevant artwork.
  • Has a varied format of mini-workshops (2 hours), a 2-5 day workshops, handouts, workbooks.  
  • Full day lecture has a hands-on art related component, we create!
  • Lectures can be restructured to target specific audiences, new lectures and workshops can be created to address specific topics, at various levels; beginners, intermediate, advance/seasoned artists all designed upon request.
  • Lectures and workshops are designed with the needs of artists at their core.

Lectures & Workshops and studio arts classes available in 2012

Promote Your Work, Without Apologizing
Changing Directions, Getting through the Change, Status Quo
Finding My Voice, My mark, My Signature, creating a body of work
Marketing Yourself - But I don't like that Part!  
Moving from the diningroom table to a studio or not
Building Self Esteem & Self Confidence - Tools of the Trade
Healing Arts - I Sew and So I Am

Studio Arts Classes available: Surface Design - silk screening; batik; fabric painting; fabric dyeing;
Design - 12",  18", 44" designing my own quilt from scratch; learn to follow a quilt pattern, small project start to finish with surface design elements.


My Basic rates:  which include lectures, teaching fiber art classes, quilting techniques, and surface design workshops

  • $700 Per day class teaching stipend (up to 20 students, after that an additional $35 per person)
  • $400 One hour lecture with trunk show, and all expenses.
  • $850 Combination of presentation and workshop held during the same event/day plus expenses with permission to vendor before or after workshop or lecture. 
  • Custom Rates are available for special programs.

Expenses include travel: mileage for airport trips, airline tickets, shipping any supplies back and forth, taxi if needed, as well as all motel and meal expenses for the 'days of the presentations'. If DH has to drive me our mileage fee is $.50/mile, and his motel provisions and meals should be included for the working days, when in attendance he is a part of my package, other DH's are encouraged to attend those lectures as we often speak as a team. I generally arrive the day before teaching starts, and leave the day after teaching ends. I am deathly allergic of cats and some dogs so my preference is to stay at a hotel.

Bottom Line:  I am open to negotiating rates, but fees and expenses can not leave me in the red. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Promote your Work without Apologizing!

I will be teaching this workshop "Promote your Work without Apologizing!" at SAQA's Denver Visioning Conference this May 2011.

This interactive empowerment workshop will look at:
• Our perceptions of ourselves as artists and or quilters
• How we talk about our artwork casually, at gallery openings, and lectures.

This mini workshop will offer tools to help participants strengthen self-talk and business-talk

• How do you answer these questions when introduced?
o Who are you?
o What do you do?
o What medium do you use?
o Where can I see your work?

I am asking workshop attendees to bring the answer on a sheet of paper the size of a postcard.

They will also be asked to bring their authentic selves to the workshop..." and the one you want to be, the person you want to introduce to the movers and shakers, the person you have been striving towards, the one you want to introduce to the next curator or gallery owner who has asked around about you and your work, the one who is wondering if you would fit… their next promotion, their next event, their next exhibition to a tee!..."

That is the person I want to meet and really need to interact with. Why? So that you come away from the workshop empowered and imbued with the tools you need to achieve your goals.

Best Regards,
Valarie Poitier
Life Coach, Job Readiness Instructor
Curator, Co-Chair SAQA-NEQM-2009-2011 Project "No Holds Barred"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


All weekend long I thought about all the things I wanted to accomplish. I managed to get the most important done. Rest.

With that rest came a flood of creative thought around my UFO's, not so much unfinished objects as in progress works, LOL. I have a fresh prespective of what is needed and what I want to accomplish, and how I want to, and can now do it. I will post a few UFO's next blog and the drawings that show what I am working on and where the rest has free me to take them.

Taking a moment to pray

Dearest Lord,
It has been some time since I have sent out a prayer over the line and I thought I would take a moment to touch base with you and some of those on my prayer list in this manner today.
It is with great thanks that I come to you today.
It is with peace in my heart that I reach in your direction.
It is with the patience you have used to prune me that my spirit has grown exponentially, and I am at last aware and thankful.
It is through your guidance, that, and my willingness to let go of those things I cannot change that I have seen the greatest times of peacefulness in my life, and even now, filling my heart.
It is from the time I was given the grace to accept you in my life that I knew I would never be alone again, and having matured in life and in you I find myself humbled and grateful.
I ask much in your name Lord.
Peace be unto the reader, great and greater strength in you, I pray, also harmony and balance in their physical lives, rest and refreshment in their waking and sleeping times, abundance where needed and compassion and patience when warranted.
There is a special want or need pressing in the hearts and minds of some, if it be your will Oh Lord and to your purpose for their lives and ours, I would consider it a boon if you would grant their hearts desire.
May all that I do and say be a blessing to those you have gifted me with in my life. I ask these, nay all things, in your name, my strength and my redeemer.

How great thou art…
A request for a Blessings,
Ms. V

Monday, March 28, 2011

SAQA New England News...Colchester, VT Event

Dear Reader,

I had the great pleasure to attend the Workshop Event in Colchester, VT this weekend. Margaret Sheehan was the hosting SAQA Rep and Alexandra Nickerson was the event planner and hosting SAQA member.

March 25-27, 2011 

It was an exciting opportunity for SAQA members.

Two workshops were offered:

Approaching Galleries - Rae Harrell, owner of Rae Harrell Gallery, and
From a Juror's Perspective Valerie Poitier, guest curator/juror and SAQA Co-chair of the "No Holds Barred" exhibit at the NE Quilt Museum and SAQA MA/RI co-rep.

I must say that Alexandra did an excellent job selecting the speakers, location, and studio's for the event. As both presenter and participant I felt we all came away with a reminder or much better view of what it takes to put on an exhibit. What it takes to participate in an exhibit. Whether or not we were in the game, or wanted to be in that particular game.

Friday night's dinner was great, even if I couldn't eat. The company and discussion was worth the trip. Saturday was packed from morning to late night with the two workshops and an opportunity to share our work with each other, simply smashing quilts were unpacked and unrolled. The works of art and techniques were very different.

Here are some of the areas discussed:
- The decisions and choices the curator, juror, gallery owner is faced with.
-What a gallery owner or representative is looking for and what you/we as artists need to provide that person so that we may be represented at the highest level of professionalism.
-Bio, Artist statement, Artist Statement, CV, Education.
-Pros & Cons of Exhibiting.
-Personal development, build courage by doing.
-Where you are now, where you see yourself going.
-How to get the best out of the resources available to you.
-SAQA site, we took a short on-line tour.

Sunday was an extra-ordinary day. We rode further up into the hills of VT. The trip took us to the most, and I mean most wonderful studio. Dianne Shullenberger, fabric artist shared her gallery and studio spaces with us in a gracious and melodious manner. Yes it was a pleasure to the ear and the eye. Her work and space was for me, like a grand banquet. Everything I would wish to see, crafted by a master, with the proper spaces to put them in. What more could this artist want, I got to see a working gallery and a working studio! That my friends... is one of my dreams...and it feels closer after this weekend.

All in all this was another spectacular New England Weekend. The weather favored us by being sunny, crisp, and a bit snappy with cold. We travelled back to Massachusetts having experienced the best of VT, the best of SAQA, and the best times.

Ms. V

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No Holds Barred - Regional meeting for MA/RI - all SAQA Members & Guests are invited

Good afternoon!

In one week we will have the opportunity to come together at 10:00 for one of our Regional meetings at the NEQM before the current exhibit of SAQA New

In addition to holding our regional meeting, we will share upcoming news, in progress or completed art works, talk about what we are doing or teaching, plan our next area exhibit, meet the artists of the current exhibit, and to invite our guests to become members.

One important order of business will be to thank Jeanne Marklin for her time
as Co-Rep of SAQA MA/RI. She will be stepping down in June 2011. Jeanne will not be in attendance however as she is hosting a meeting in western MA. So we will plan our thanks and deliver in person at our next joint meeting. We are seeking a member to work with me during the remainder of my term, and to carry the torch while recruiting the next rep. Please start to scout out possible members who have what you consider the necessary experience and energy to best represent you to SAQA and the art community.

After the official meeting time, approximately 1:00 we will walk the museum as a group and look at the exhibit together and ask specific
questions about techniques, materials used, and the types of machines used. We should all come away from this experienced inspired to either continue what we are doing or to try something new or in a different way.

If you are an instructor or have a business please bring business cards or a handout. This will be the perfect time to talk about what you do and what
you offer.

There were many lessons learned during the No Holds Barred exhibit process
and we should review some of them and what we want to do in the future. It
is important to discuss what we can do differently, in addition, or not at
all next time around. So the floor will be open to everyone to share their

Also come prepared with ideas about what you would like to participate in
regarding future exhibits. We are ready to start on our next SAQA project
as a region and having your input is very important. The current plan to
open the area up beyond the six states and we will discuss to whom and how
many other regions to include. Depending on the ideas we may even open it
up to all of SAQA.

As you can see we have a full schedule of items to discuss and we hope you
will be able to join us. Your voice is important!

Please RSVP to vprattpoitier@yahoo.com.


Best Regards,
Valarie Poitier
Curator, Co-Chair SAQA-NEQM-2011 Project "No Holds Barred"
Guest Speaker Grand Opening January 29th @ 1:00pm IT was awesome!
****SAQA-MA-RI@blogspot.com ****OUR NEW AREA BLOG
Ms. V's Studio #508-314-6597
http://www.saqa.com - Studio Art Quilt Associates
http://saqane2011news.blogspot.com/ - No Holds Barred News

Thursday, February 17, 2011

websites that have photo's or press releases of my work

I was searching on Bing, not a place I generally go and I found a few links with in of on my work and art.  I got excited to find myself so I went exploring on google, and surprisingly I found articles and photos I did not know were on the internet.

Be mindful of who is taking your picture. I did find about seven that I did not know were on the internet.  I will have my game face and top on whenever I step out the door for now on.

  • Atmospheric Change, God's Breath, & Sunrise, Quilt Art - on website.

  • Beyond the Obvious - detail, currently on exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum

  • Flash of Light, my journal quilt is listed under my name, search for poitier or scroll down to the p's and you will find me.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No Holds Barred - Event Date Chage due to Storm Warning

Snowy Greetings,

The event planned for this Saturday has been moved to Saturday February 19th at 1:00 PM.

Celeste Janey has created a wonderful lecture filled with information about her journey. The art work is filled with embroideries, quilting, words, images, along with her poignant story telling.

Please pass the word on to your guilds, colleagues, and friends!

WINTER WEATHER CLOSURES: The Museum will be closed due to inclement weather on any day that the Lowell public school system is closed. Check "Lowell" on the School Closing List before heading out to the Museum.

Warmest Regards,
Valarie Poitier
Curator, Co-Chair SAQA-NEQM-2011 Project "No Holds Barred"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Holds Barred – at the New England Quilt Museum Grand Opening Event was held today.

No Holds Barred – at the New England Quilt Museum Grand Opening Event was held today.                      

Well the time came and went for the opening celebration.  What an amazing experience! There was the sun shining and a clear highway to drive on on the way to Lowell, MA.  We had standing room only at the Exhibition.  Twelve of the artists were present hailing from Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Five of the current SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Representatives from the New England States and one former Rep were also in attendance.  

The support of the Reps, exhibiting artists, artists who answered the Call for Entry, museum staff and volunteers, the team that worked on the proposals, jurors, and the SAQA staff and volunteers all working together in various capacities over the past three years has resulted in a wonderful collection of Contemporary Quilts.
When you look at the exhibit you see the latest techniques being used today across the country, in fact, by art quilters not only in SAQA here in the states but around the world.  There was hand quilting, machine quilting, dyed fabrics, stenciled and silk screened marks on fabric, commercial and whole cloth works, paint acrylics and oil stick, yarn, metallic and cotton threads, shibori and other techniques used.  Whatever is considered leading edge was found in the exhibit today.  There are also two quilts that are part of the permanent collection by artists who were juried into the exhibit on display.
In two other galleries you will see two different displays of antique quilts.  There is so much to see…both antique and contemporary quilts.  

I hope you will take an opportunity to go to the museum to see the show and on Feb. 5th (***storm warning***date moved to February 19th!...to see the lecture: My Journey by Celeste Janey; Feb 12th to see the lecture “Art Quilts by SAQA’s Exec. Director, Martha Sielman; and on March 5th to a workshop followed by a trunk show by Wen Redmond.  On March 19th there will be an all regions all call SAQA meeting that will be open to the public.  The artists have all been invited and they will be there to share one on one about their work and their SAQA experiences.
Thank you all for your contributions to this local exhibition!
Fondest regards,
Ms. V

Valarie Poitier
Curator, Co-Chair SAQA-NEQM-2011 Project "No Holds Barred"
Guest Speaker Grand Opening January 29th @ 1:00pm – Smashing!
 http://www.saqa.com  - Studio Art Quilt Associates
Member: Quinobequin, Quilters Connection, Sisters in Fiber, Boston Weaver's Guild
Life Coach, Life Skills Trainer

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Exhibit - New England Quilt Museum - African American Curator

There are only two weeks left to wait for the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) and the NEQM (New England Quilt Museum's) Grand Opening of the Exhibition 'No Holds Barred'.  The show has been hung and looks amazing.  There were so many steps along the way on the tickler to check off that it is hard to reason we are almost at the grand opening.  
I must get my nails done  before then!

The dates of the exhibit are January 20, 2011 - April 9, 2011.  Artists from six New England states were invited to enter the call for art works that would be debuting at this event.  We had 52 artists send in their entry forms, pictures, and artist statements.  There is a blog that tells about the process. http://saqane2011news.blogspot.com/ 
The panel of three NEQM jurors and two guest jurors Juanita Yeager, SAQA member, and Noelle Frye of the Fuller Craft Museum and  I viewed all the works and a collection of mostly non-representations works came together. 

There is is a wonderful line up including a lecture by SAQA's Executive Director, Martha Sielman, workshop by a Regional Representative Wen Redmond, and a trunk show by two different SAQA /NEQM members, Wen Redmond and Celeste Janey that will occur on Saturdays during February and March. 

On March 19th there will be an all call meeting for SAQA members who live, are visiting, or plan to drive up to see the show and we will be talking about SAQA membership, the how to's and best way to support and be supported by the organization, and we will walk the exhibit with the exhibiting artists who are in attendance.  That day will be hosted by Valarie Poitier, SAQA PAM member, SAQA Regional Rep for MA/RI and guest curator, along with Jeanne Marklin PAM member and Regional Rep for MA/RI.

We hope you will join us for one or more of the events.  Check out the link to the New England Quilt Museum for more details! http://www.nequiltmuseum.org/events/special-events.html

Ms. V

Friday, January 7, 2011

Quilts and Guest Speaking in January 2011

Update on what I am doing creatively over the next few months:

My work along with Celeste Janey and Brenda Jones will be on display at the Haley House in Roxbury January-March 2010, the artist’s reception is January 15th.  

I will also be guest speaker at the New England Quilt Museum at the Grand Opening of the "No Holds Barred" exhibition that I am the guest curator for.  I also have a quilt in the exhibit called Beyond the Obvious.
NO HOLDS BARRED: Schedule of Events

Saturday, January 29, 1 pm
Painted background appliquéd bird
Opening reception for New England SAQA, with Guest Curator Valarie Poitier

Saturday, February 5, 1 pm
Lecture: "My Journey", by Celeste P. Janey

Saturday, February 12, 1 pm
Lecture: "Art Quilts", by Martha Sielman

Saturday, March 5,
10 am, Workshop and 1 pm, Trunk Show with Wen Redmond

Saturday March 19, 10:00, SAQA NE Meeting and Gallery Walk
(Open to the public) Hosted by SAQA Reps, Valarie Poitier and Jeanne Marklin

I hope you will be able to attend one or both of the events listed at the top of this message.  If not check out one of the events happening during the exhibit on a Saturday !

In May 2011 at the SAQA Conference: Visioning
I will teach "Promote your Work without Apologizing
This interactive empowerment workshop will look at our perceptions of ourselves as artists. Valarie Poitier will offer tools to help participants strengthen their sense of positive self and their ability to talk about their art at gallery openings and lectures."


Best Regards,
Valarie Poitier
After GYN Appt.
Curator, Co-Chair SAQA-NEQM-2011 Project "No Holds Barred" Grand Opening January 29th @ 1:00pm SAQA Rep MA/RI Ms. V's Studio #508-314-6597 Studio Art Quilt Associates  http://www.saqa.com

Affiliations and Memberships

Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Boston Weavers Guild
Brush Gallery
Danforth Museum
New England Quilt Museum
Quilters Connection
Quilters Quad
Quinobequin Quilters Guild
Saxonville Workshop Instructor
Sisters in Fiber
Studio Art Quilt Associates
Surface Design Association